On December 26, 1993, at 0903 hours Pacific standard time, an experimental homebuilt Golightly RV-4, N312RG, was destroyed during an uncontrolled descent into terrain at Brackett Field, La Verne, California. The pilot received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight which was destined for Chino, California.

Witnesses stated that the airplane was departing on runway 26R, and had climbed to between 200 and 300 feet above the runway when they heard the engine quit. They further stated that the airplane made a sharp right turn to nearly inverted attitude, and then into what appeared to be a one turn spin before impacting the ground in the northwest tie down area of the airport.

The Brackett Air Traffic Control Tower reported that the airplane was cleared for takeoff at 0902:11 and, at 0903:10, the pilot stated on tower frequency, "i've got a little problem here." The tower observed the crash at 0903:16. The airplane was partially consumed by a postcrash fire.


According to available records, the private pilot had accumulated about 902.0 hours of flight time. The pilot was issued a third- class medical certificate on February 29, 1992.


The airplane was built by the owner/pilot and was certificated in the experimental category on July 31, 1992.

According to limited data recovered at the accident site, the airplane had flown a total of about 40.0 hours since it was built.


Postcrash examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane had crashed in the northwest aircraft tie down area at Brackett Field, about 500 feet north of the runway 26R centerline.

The entire airplane, engine, and all components were accounted for at the scene. A postcrash fire had partially consumed the airplanes center section, wing roots, firewall, and engine compartment area.

A postcrash examination of the airplane, the engine, and related systems was conducted on the day of the accident.

Examination of the fuel selector revealed that it was not fire damaged. The selector handle was noted to be broken and in transit between the right fuel tank and the engine feed line. Examination of the Imperial fuel selector valve revealed that it was mounted to the structure with two AN4-5A bolts and two AN365-1428 elastic stop nuts. The nuts were noted to be loose, and not engaging the elastic locking feature.

The AN822-6D elbow fitting installed in the Imperial valve body for the left fuel tank supply was found loose with less than three threads engaged in the valve body.

The AN818 "B" nut and AN819 sleeve assemblies for the left fuel tank and the main supply to the engine were noted to be loose at the fuel selector body fittings. The right tank fitting at the selector body was found to be torqued.

The engine fuel primer was mounted near the fuel selector. The primer was found unlocked and out of the locked position by about 1/4 inch.


On December 27, 1993, the Los Angeles County medical examiner performed an autopsy on the pilot. Samples were obtained from the pilot for toxicological analysis by the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results of the toxicological analysis were negative for all screened drug substances and alcohol.

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